Mollema Takes Over Vuelta a San Juan Lead
Trek Segafredo's Bauke Mollema is the new leader of the Vuelta a San Juan after finishing fifth on the fifth stage. Rui Costa wins the Queen Stage on the climb of Alto Colorado.
It was a 162.5km stage which saw nineteen riders eventually get away but were never allowed to get more than three minutes clear and they were caught before the final climb of the Alto Colorado.
Rémi Cavagna in the green jersey was first to attack on the climb but the front group of thirty riders did not give him too much time on the front and when the climb started to take its toll on a day where twelve abandoned the race, the climbers took over and Rui Costa of the UAE Abu Dhabi team took the win in 4.15.04, ahead of Rodolfo Torres (Androni Giocattoli) and Ricardo Escuela (Agrupacion Virgen de Fatima).
Bauke Mollema finished fifth to take over the leader's jersey with a fourteen second lead over Oscar Riberia and said: The climb was not steep, but the high altitude made it difficult. "The pace was really high, so there were only some small attacks, and with one kilometre to go there were just three of us, and then at around 600m to go I blew up."
"I had info from the car from Popo (Yaroslav Popovych, director), so I knew that Nibali and Navardauskas were dropped, but I was still a little worried when I blew up as I couldn't push anymore and then it's easy to lose 20-30 seconds in the last bit. Thankfully, I was only 12 seconds behind Costa at the finish. I was lucky to have the time from the time trial."
"The team did a super job," continued Mollema. "They helped chase the first breakaway down of 20 guys, and then Matthias went with the second move, which was perfect. It was hot and windy, and they kept me hydrated with bottles all race."
"It was just a fast pace all day. It was not windy at the start, but later it picked up and then Quick Step and Bahrain went full gas into the wind. That brought the second breakaway back fast."
"We need to be attentive in the next two stages, and see who we can let go in a break. It's also going to be really warm over the next days, and with the wind always a possibility, we have to be ready."
Vuelta a San Juan 2017 – stage 5 results (Chimbas – Alto Colorado):
1 Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) 4:15:04
2 Rodolfo Torres (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) +03”
3 Ricardo Escuela (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima) +07”
4 Oscar Sevilla (Medellin – Inder) +10”
5 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +12”
6 Egan Bernal (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) +14”
7 Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina) ,,
8 Laureano Rosas (Argentina) +21”
9 Eduardo Corte (Mexico) +57”
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) ,,
General classification after stage 5:
1 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 4:15:04
2 Oscar Sevilla (Medellin – Inder) +14”
3 Rodolfo Torres (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) +16”
4 Ricardo Escuela (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima) +20”
5 Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) +26"
6 Laureano Rosas (Argentina) +27"
7 Ramunas Navardauskas (Bahrain Merida) +52”
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +1’17”
9 Egan Bernal (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) +1’29”
10 Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors) +1’31”
VIDEO: Vuelta San Juan Stage 5 Last 10 Minutes